Anthem - Audio Cassette - Unabridged Author:Ayn Rand, Paul Meier (Narrator) Anthem has long been hailed as one of Ayn Rand's classic novels, and a clear predecessor to her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In Anthem, Rand examines a frightening future in which individuals have no name, no independence, and no values. Equality 7-2521 lives in the dark ages of the fut... more »ure where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, and all traces of individualism have been wiped out. Despite such a restrictive environment, the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in him -- a passion which he has been taught to call sinful. In a purely egalitarian world, Equality 7-2521 dares to stand apart from the herd -- to think and choose for himself, to discover electricity, and to love the woman of his choice. Now he has been marked for death for committing the ultimate sin. In a world where the great "we" reign supreme, he has rediscovered the lost and holy word -- "I."
Read by Paul Meier. 2 audiocassettes (2.5 hr.)« less
timpob reviewed Anthem (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged) on
Although I have immensely enjoyed several of Rand's wonderful works of nonfiction, I felt unimpressed by her early fictional play "Night of January 16th" - unfortunately unrivaled philosophy doesn't equal unrivaled fiction.
Therefore, I was surprised to enjoy Anthem as well as I did. Rand uses some brilliant literary techniques to build the appeal to individualism throughout the story, and she only crafts the story around details and anecdotes that contribute to her core philosophical message, which characteristically shines persuasively clear. Her characters are typically idealized representations of particular values, and their interactions show the corresponding compatibility of those ideas. Her general language is timeless, and the moral of the story of course is universal and applies perhaps more today than ever before.
I would only note that the reader will feel surprised and perhaps let down by the very last word of the book. Although Rand means the best by using this word, she did not build it into the story with the skill she otherwise showed. However, perhaps its disjointed usage contributes to its memorability and relative significance.
I would also note that Rand, as usual, displays a highly bizarre concept of gender, particularly femininity, which I personally find disturbing and inappropriate to the rest of her philosophy. The reader may feel quite put off by her treatment of the subject. Although I certainly don't apologize for her perspectives, I believe that she was simply influenced by her native cultural stereotypes and roles, which she for some reason did not shake after immigrating to the United States.
Overall, an excellent book.
RE: Audio cassette - the narrator does a fairly good job of giving strength and genuineness to her work. I would have preferred it read by a woman myself, but it would have distracted from the story for most listeners.